KINGDOM CITY — The North Callaway Thunderbirds were sabotaged by a surplus of ill-timed miscues.
No. 2 seed North Callaway collapsed under the weight of six turnovers in bowing to the No. 1 Hallsville Indians in a 36-14 loss for the Class 2, District 5 championship Friday night.
The Thunderbirds had their four-game winning streak halted in ending the season with a 7-3 record. Hallsville (7-4) now moves on to matchup at No. 1-ranked Palmyra (11-0) in the Class 2 state quarterfinals next Saturday.
"Hallsville has a good team — they're better on the hoof than on film, and they're hitting their stride right now," North Callaway head coach Don Boulware said. "They're faster, they're bigger, they're more physical.
"We had to be almost perfect, and six turnovers is nowhere near perfect. That combination (of mistakes and the Indians) made for a one-sided game. Some nights it's just not your night, and we didn't click."
The Thunderbirds were unable to tame Hallsville junior quarterback Tyger Cobb, who accounted for 285 total yards and four touchdowns. Cobb rushed for a game-high 130 yards and three scores on 22 carries, while completing 13-of-18 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
"(Cobb) is just so strong, tough and athletic," Boulware said. "He was phenomenal — he's the best we faced all year and I wouldn't have said that before the game."
The Indians opened the scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Harrison Fowler with 1 minute, 3 seconds to go in the first quarter. Cobb ran in the two-point conversion.
North Callaway pulled even after senior running back Cody Cash bolted 45 yards for a touchdown with 11:49 remaining in the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Braydn O'Neal hooked up with Cash on the two-point attempt to make it 8-all.
Hallsville then went in front to stay on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Cobb to senior wide receiver Ryan Roberts with 7:13 to play in the first half. Cobb connected with junior wide receiver AJ Austene for the two-point conversion, sending the Indians into halftime with a 16-8 advantage.
Hallsville extended its lead on Cobb's 5-yard touchdown run with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter. Cobb then scored from 1 yard out with 11:57 to go in the game as the Indians built a 30-8 edge.
The Thunderbirds' final score came on a 10-yard touchdown run by Cash with 9:56 left. Cobb closed out Hallsville's scoring on a 21-yard touchdown run with 6:42 to play.
Cash logged 75 yards rushing on 10 carries to guide North Callaway. O'Neal was 10-of-16 passing for just 75 yards and was intercepted four times.
"We just couldn't move the ball very effectively," Boulware said.
Despite Friday night's loss, Boulware treasures the lasting relationships he created with his players.
"There are a lot of things we can feel good about, just not the way the season ended," Boulware said. "Wins and losses are also not the only measure of success.
"My real satisfaction is when I see guys I've coached 10, 20 years later and they've gotten married, become fathers and are pillars of their community. I see a lot of those kids coming out of this group."
Boulware made some news of his own earlier Friday when he turned in his letter of resignation. A 1973 North Callaway graduate, Boulware was a combined 14-6 in his two seasons with the Thunderbirds.
"It's been really fun to be back in Callaway County — it's been like a family reunion," Boulware said. "To walk these same (school) halls and that same (football) field has been really cool.
"I'll remember my time at North Callaway very, very fondly. I don't think I've coached my last game, but I've coached my last game as a head coach."
Ryan Boland can be reached at (573) 826-2422, or on Twitter @FultonSunSports.